Eric Esterbrook, announced that starting January 25, 2023, Esterbrook Pharmacy will merge with West Reading Drug Store at 538 Penn Avenue, West Reading. Eric is the owner of West Reading Drug Store, Esterbrook Pharmacy and Outlook Pharmacy Services, all in West Reading, PA.
For customers of Esterbrook Pharmacy the change is only the physical location. For West Reading Drug Store customers, there is no change to services. “We have kept all our employees and we have expanded our hours.” Eric said, “We will be providing the same personal service, free local delivery, we have our compounding services, and we have a free app to refill prescriptions and set reminders and save money on medications.”
Consolidating businesses and maintaining his autonomy has been part of Eric’s thinking for a long time. “I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of years, and it makes sense. My mantra has been ‘Keeping independent pharmacy independent’”.
In April 2007, Eric purchased Brunner’s Pharmacy, from Doug Brunner, located in the Doctor’s Office Building of the Reading Hospital. Eric changed the name to Esterbrook Pharmacy and had operated at the hospital until now. In May 2016 Eric Esterbrook purchased West Reading Drug Store on Penn Avenue from Jim Levan, who owned it for about 15 years.
Outlook Pharmacy Services is a closed-door pharmacy serving people in long term care settings such as assisted living and skilled nursing homes.
Eric began his career as a pharmacist at Ronco’s Pharmacy, West Lawn, after graduating from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. “Working at Ronco’s, an independently owned pharmacy was an excellent experience. The difference from a chain store that is designed corporately to handle all day-to-day operations and an independent pharmacy is the pharmacist and all staff in an independent pharmacy have to pay attention to everything; the wholesale drug purchasing, contracts with insurance companies, Medicare, vendors, facilities, real estate, personnel issues, marketing.”
“We offer a lot of services the chain drug stores don’t offer. Free delivery in about a 10 - 15 mile range from West Reading, curbside pick-up, individual printed medicine dose packaging, and great customer service. We are doing a lot with CBD products. CBD is a good alternative for people who have problems with inflammation, anxiety, and sleep. We have three and four generations of customers who come to us. My own mother would come to West Reading Drug Store in the 1950s.”
Esterbrook is proud of his work and his team of employees who support him. “Building the business to 42 employees has been satisfying. My wife Michelle gets credit for keeping our household and our four kids in order so I can run the business. Also keeping independent pharmacy independent is something I’m very passionate about.”
Eric Esterbrook Appointed to Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy
On October 26, 2022, commissioned by Gov. Tom Wolf, Esterbrook began his six-year term as an Independent Pharmacy Representative member of the PA State Board of Pharmacy, which consists of 9 members serving on behalf of different aspects of the pharmacy profession: 5 Pharmacists (2 Independent, 2 Retail Chain, 1 Acute Care Institution) 2 Public Members, 1 Consumer Protection, 1 Commissioner. The Board oversees all pharmacist licenses, standards, technology, and all laws and regulations concerning the pharmacy industry in Pennsylvania.
Esterbrook explained, “When new regulations are proposed, this board weighs in on new guidelines, we take public comment, filter through changes. Our main purpose is to protect the public. We oversee disciplinary hearings and look at legislation. We meet monthly in Harrisburg. I want to represent independent pharmacies to ensure we have a voice. There are about 4,200 licensed pharmacists in PA. This is an opportunity for me to give back to my profession.”
West Reading Drug Store, 538 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 WestReadingDrug.com 610-375-4366